Canadian real estate being bought with illicit cash? No wayyy. A French NGO is alleging that quite a bit of Canadian real estate has been bought with questionable cash. Sherpa, a Paris-based anti-corruption organization, is urging the RCMP to look into 20 high ranking officials from corrupt regimes. All who bought a lot of real estate, with cash from sources that are unclear.
Corrupt Money Has Been Pouring Into Canadian Real Estate For Years
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Officials from foreign countries, with corrupt governments, show up with wads of cash. Amounts of money that don’t make sense in contrast to their salary, all to buy Canadian real estate. Not many questions are asked, because we’re not really looking for answers. It’s not like they’re hairdressers or waiters, where the government feels the “need” to audit income. If you’re from Vancouver, this is your daily news. For the rest of the world, welcome to the s**t show that Canada’s immigration and real estate markets have become.
Canadian real estate has become a washing machine for corrupt regimes. Everyone from Al-Saadi Gaddafi, the son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, to “lots of kids of corrupt Chinese officials.” Canada is easy to immigrate to, and up until recently banks would even knowingly help you circumvent your country’s capital controls. The only catch is you need a good reason, like buying a home. It shouldn’t be a big surprise to hear France’s Sherpa allege there are millions of dollars worth of Canadian homes, which are biens mal acquis. The term roughly translates to “ill-gotten gains.” However, it also refers to a wider movement in France, to stomp out foreign corruption. Biens mal aquis is anything, from questionable cash to residency obtained though fraud.
Over $30 Million In Residential Real Estate
Sherpa’s William Bourdain, along with the Quebec-based Coalition Biens Mal Acquis, allege twenty politicians and senior officials of “corrupt regimes in Africa” have been scooping up Quebec property. In a complaint filed to the RCMP, they count more than $30 million in transactions. As pointed out by Le Journal de Montréal, this includes a block of 10 condo units in a single Montreal building, bought by the brother-in-law of Chadian President Idriss Déby.
Bourdain has some questions regarding how they were able to buy these homes. “It is indisputable that the value of these homes and furniture, sometimes of the order of several million dollars, is disproportionate with the wages enjoyed by their owners.,” he claims. “This imbalance necessarily raises the question of the origin of the funds and constitutes reasonable grounds for believing that the assets are the result of illegal acts.”
Permanent Canadian Residents, Eh?
Those accused are from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Senegal. AFP confirmed that many on the list, have already obtained permanent residency in Canada. In addition to requesting the RCMP look into the evidence provided, Bourdain urges them to look into those that helped with the transactions. This includes the law firms, notaries, and even the banks.
“These people are pursued by several countries in Europe. They are looking for safe places where they can launder their money,” explains anti-corruption activist Raoul Didier Maboundou, a native of Congo-Brazzaville, to the Journal. “Canada is a country where they can do it without a hitch.”
Note: Ready to brush off your high school French skills? The Journal’s Hugo Joncas did an excellent breakdown of the players being called out.
Like this post? Like us on Facebook for the next one in your feed.